MPD launches new campaign against youth violence

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Friday begins the National Faith and Blue Weekend. Here in Memphis, the Memphis Police Department hosts nearly 50 community policing events.

For many Memphis residents, flashing blue lights symbolize trauma and are a telltale sign of another violent act.

“Every time we see blue lights we get nervous, but if we can somehow change that narrative, every time we see a blue light it can mean safety, it can mean solidarity,” said the Sgt. Tadario Holmes with the Memphis Police Department.

Holmes is spearheading a new initiative to break the stigma. This weekend, the department is encouraging citizens to “Light It Up Blue” as a stand against youth violence.

“We’ve seen too many things happen with our youngsters,” Holmes said. “What we’re asking is that community members buy a bulb and just put it on their porch light and just light up the community.”

Most of the events this weekend target the city’s young people, as more and more children are dying from gun violence.

“We tell them you all have a future and when a child dies, a generation dies,” Holmes said. “So we try to give them this idea of ​​hope to look for a better future and do what they can do on their side.”

And with an increase in the number of teens committing crimes, Holmes says it’s more important than ever to let your blue light shine in favor of the youth.

“It hurts me as a parent, and one of the reasons I take this so passionately and do it is because we want the community and parents to know when you’re crying, we cry,” Holmes said.

MPD asks people to light it blue until Monday evening. Saturday morning there will be a sea of ​​youth to honor children killed in violent incidents across the city.

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